Alienware's Novel New Idea: Pair the Nintendo Switch Design With a Handheld PC

Alienware's Novel New Idea: Pair the Nintendo Switch Design With a Handheld PC

The power of PC gaming and two not-Joy-Cons.

The Nintendo Switch's hybrid console setup has carved out its own crevice in the industry, and now it looks like a few others are starting to warm up to the concept. After a few teaser shots, Dell debuted a new Alienware prototype dubbed Concept UFO, a handheld PC that looks an awful lot like a Switch.

With a central screen-console base and sliding controllers that lock onto either side of the unit, it's hard to think of the Concept UFO as anything but a PC gaming version of Nintendo's Switch console. According to a CNET hands-on, the UFO runs Windows games, can output to external displays, and even has a kickstand. When playing portably, you can also slide out the side controllers and snap them into a central unit to make a gamepad, similar to how the Switch Joy-Cons operate.

It's important to note that Concept UFO is just a concept at this point. There is no price point, release date, anything like that. The UFO is essentially a test model, with the goal to create a PC in a "handheld form factor that gamers could use to play their favorite AAA PC titles, wherever they are."

According to Dell's blog, the UFO has an eight-inch screen that outputs at 1920x1200 resolution. It also notes that the UFO concept packs a 10th-gen Intel Core processor, and makes use of WiFi, Bluetooth, and Thunderbolt. It seems pretty powerful for a prototype, but there could still be more to come. While showing the Concept UFO off on-stage at Dell's CES 2020 presentation today Vivian Lien, VP of Alienware and Dell Gaming, noted that there have been many iterations of this concept, and that Dell has "many more in the works."

A PC gaming Switch isn't all that bad of an idea, considering the success Nintendo's console has seen. If it could make use of streaming technology, like a portable Steam Link or Stadia hub, that's one thing; but a portable drive full of PC games, with a hefty enough processor, could be a very interesting high-end opponent for the Nintendo Switch. It's still just a concept for now, though.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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